A busy weekend that incorporated multiple British Records with racing on the track, roads and cross-country. James Rhodes brings you another packed weekend of action.
British Records were on the menu at the World Indoor Tour Final in Birmingham on Saturday. Three marks – the men’s 1500m, women’s 800m and women’s 60m were bettered on an afternoon filled with noteworthy performances.
The most exciting came in the men’s 1500m, where Neil Gourley improved fellow Scotsman Josh Kerr’s mark set last year. His time of 3:32.48 was a significant personal best and suggests good things may come at next week’s European Indoor Championships. Behind, there were Spanish and Irish Records for Adel Mechaal (3:33.28) and Andrew Coscoran (3:33.49) in second and third respectively. Early leader Josh Kerr finished fifth (3:34.93), with Piers Copeland (3:40.64) eighth in his fastest of the year.
Dropping in distance to 800m. In her third race of the year, Keely Hodgkinson improved her own British Record by two hundredths of a second (1:57.18). Her fastest of the year, but off her stated goal of approaching the World Record. There were PBs behind for Issy Boffey (2:00.25) and Ellie Baker (2:00.86).
After strong pace for the opening 600m, Laura Muir clocked 2:34.53 over 1000m. There were Romanian, Polish, Italian and Dutch Records behind in a fast race. Maria Mutola’s World Record lives to see another day, however. Katie Snowden (2:37.46) finished fifth.
Elsewhere, Gudaf Tsegay was just 0.09s shy of the 3000m World Record (8:16.69) after a rallying last 200m. The sole Brit in the race, Eloise Walker, finished tenth (9:02.80). It would be remis to not mention Dina Asher Smith’s 7.03 60m British Record.
24 Hour British Record
It is always exciting to be able to bring results from members of the Fast Running team. However, it is particularly enjoyable when it involves a British Record! That is exactly what happened today (technically yesterday too) as Robbie Britton broke the longstanding 24 Hour British Record.
Racing at the 24 ore di Torino in Italy, Robbie ran a staggering 277.439 km over 24 hours. That betters the previous record from 1982 set by David Dowdle. A truly incredible performance!
Robbie Britton @ultrabritton has broken the British 24 Hour record which has stood since 1982 with an amazing run at 24 ore di Torino and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Final km TBC. A HUGE thank you to his support crew Natalie, @pugh_jamie and Sarah. @BritAthletics @iaunews
— Tom Craggs (@thomascraggs) February 26, 2023
XC Draws to a Close
The Saucony English National Cross-Country Championships visited a new venue this weekend, taking athletes from across the country to Bolesworth Castle in Chester. Thousands of athletes made the trip and fierce racing came as a result.
A closely contested senior women’s race saw Belgrave’s Sarah Astin (29:28) gain a five second margin to take victory. Finishing ahead of two-time winner Gemma Steel of Charnwood (29:33), it was a fine performance for Sarah in one of her best cross-country races to date. Niamh Bridson-Hubbard from Blackheath & Bromley completed the podium (29:43).
The team title went to Charnwood, with Aldershot Farnham & District taking silver and Hallamshire Harriers bronze.
After a win at the South of England Championships in Beckenham, Tonbridge’s James Kingston went into the race as one of the potential favourites. Having built up a gap from the field alongside Jack Gray, the pair took it in turns to cover each other’s moves before Kingston moved away. His time on the 12km course was 36:01, crossing the line six seconds ahead of Cambridge & Coleridge’s Gray (36:07). An excellent outing from David Stone of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers saw him secure bronze (36:32).
Despite no athletes on the individual podium, Leeds City took the team title ahead of Cambridge & Coleridge and Tonbridge.
Will Barnicoat and Beatrice Wood won the respective junior races, whilst Innes Fitzgerald and Henry Dover took the U17 titles. The U15 and U13 races went to Owen Ulfig, Shaikira King, Thomas Thake and Jorja Ann March respectively.
Also on Saturday, some of Scotland’s best athletes headed to Falkirk for the Lindsay’s Scottish National Cross-Country Championships.
Similar to in Chester, there were close finishes in both senior races. Just six seconds separated the top two senior men, and eight seconds the senior women. In the men’s race, it was Logan Rees of Fife (32:09) who got the better of Central AC’s Jamie Crowe (32:15). It was a good day for Central, with Crowe’s clubmate Hamish Hickey taking bronze (32:45). The pair helped Central AC secure the team title.
Ending what has been a fine season, Scout Adkin of Moorfoot Runners (37:15) won the senior women’s title. She was followed closely by Alice Goodall of Edinburgh University Hare & Hounds (37:23), with Fife’s Steph Pennycook taking bronze (38:25). Despite not featuring on the individual podium, Shettleston Harriers comfortably won the team title.
Hannah Ryding and Matt Knowles won the individual U20 races, with Connor Bell and Caitlyn Heggie winning the U17 races.
On the Roads
For those not competing indoors or in the mud, there were road racing opportunities aplenty this weekend. So much so, it is hard to know where to start.
Ben Connor (64:57) had a good outing at the Leicestershire Half Marathon, finishing over four and a half minutes clear of the rest of the field. Lily Partridge (74:34) had an even more impressive margin of victory at over eight minutes.
Leeds City’s Cal Mills led the athletes at the Brighton Half Marathon with a 66:37 clocking. It was a close finish, however, with Marshall Smith just four seconds behind. Simon Heath (67:01) completed the top-three. It was similarly close amongst the women racing, with Charlotte Regan (78:24) getting the better of Ruby Whyte-Wilding (78:30) and Amy Harris (79:17).
Staying in locations beginning with B, with a move to Bedford. It was the turn of Alice Brear Clarkson (85:20) and Sam Hazelton (78:36) to record victories at the Bedford Half Marathon.
Two races over 13.1 miles took place on the outskirts of south London. Firstly, at the Hampton Court Half Marathon, where it was the turn of Charlie Rogers (69:55) and Gemma Astin (75:03) to take victories. Not too far away, Yossuf Albanawi (80:46) and Emily Trombetta (93:59) were doing the same at the Wimbledon Half Marathon.
The top three places at the Wokingham Half Marathon went to Scott Cousins (65:10), Matt Sharp (65:43) and Tom Austin (67:11). The same for the women; Lauren Reed (74:11), Tessa Mccormick (74:53) and Isabelle Pickett (75:36) completed a speedy top-three. Sara Barron (87:30) and Philip Hardman (74:34) were quickest at the Stockport Trail Half Marathon.
10km Racing Also
A rapid-fire summary of this weekend’s 10km races. There were multiple fast times at the Bourton 10k. Ella Burfitt (35:48) moved away from the field to win amongst the women racing. She finished over half a minute clear of Nicole Frith (36:19) and Naomi Eaton (37:40). It was a closer affair for the men; eight seconds separated the top three. Richard De Camps (31:43) got the better of Andrew Chambers (31:48) and Will Perkin (31:51).
There were wins for Marc Burman (33:41) and Rebekah Pate (40:00) at the Murray Lambden 10k, held in Douglas on the Isle of Man. Michael Lewis (34:28) and Nicola Jukes (41:20) were winners of the Pontypool 10k Home Run, Emily Hale (46:58) and Daniel Stewart (42:54) the same at the Trosley Park Challenge 10k. Rebecca Dyer (28:51) and Fred Webb (23:09) took the associated 5k.
Andy Inchley (35:36) and Rachel Cooke (38:34) won the Winslow Lions 10k, Lucy Hughes (51:44) and James McKibbon (43:31) the Castle Hill Corker 10k and Chloe Hirst (43:34) and Jordan Kettell (46:00) the Settle 10k. Jackie Stretton (44:08) and Paul Dellar (49:50) took victories at the Smugglers Trail 10k.
On Wednesday, Thomas Wright (31:29) and Katie Good (39:00) were fastest at the Battersea Park Chase the Moon 10k. Wins in the associated 5k were taken by Gina Wilkinson (18:49) and Scott Yule (16:15). Finally, Sarah Osborne (41:11) and Matthew Holman (33:18) crossed the line first at the Bedford 10k.
The monthly Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5k in Hyde Park in London provided wins for Harry Lawson (15:49) and Emily Shaw (17:58). The February edition of the Leeds 5k provided victories for Stella Cross (18:28) and Jamie Rashbrook (15:04). Staying with midweek 5k races, Rob McTaggart (16:18) and Lauren Baker-Little (18:55) won the Boscombe 5k, whilst the Blast at the Meadows 5k in Edinburgh went to Charlie Cosham (21:59) and Robert Wilson (23:37).
Nadine McIntyre (32:08) and John Paul Williamson (26:18) were first across the finish at the Mountfield 5 Mile. Dean Ryan (17:49) and Eimear McCarroll (18:34) took the honours in the associated 5k.
Intriguingly, two events this weekend held the same races both on Saturday and Sunday. The first was the Carsington Water 10k & Half Marathon in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Saturday’s races over 10km provided wins for Mark Robinson (38:35) and Ali Hoyle (41:56), with Sara Sheppard (95:42) and Gary Pawson (85:11) quickest in the half marathon. Fast forward one day, and it was the turn of Sara Eames (42:48) and Matt Draper (41:20) winning the 10km. Daniel Soltys (76:28) and Amy Wheeler (96:49) were quickest in Sunday’s half marathon.
Blackpool and the Stanley Park 10k, was the second event to have races on both days. Ross Campbell (33:58) and Amy Kelland (38:42) were quickest on Saturday, Belinda Houghton (37:12) and Simon Croft (33:50) on Sunday.
Jordan Skelly (49:48) and Josie Rawes (60:41) recorded fast times in winning the Snake Lane 10, whilst Tristan Windley (54:05) and Holly Wootten (61:59) were quickest at the Netherhall 10.
The Tarpley 10 went to Jack Nixon and Claire Jacobs (58:42), with the associated 20 Mile going to Harriet Carr (2:12:37) and Andrew Risk (1:58:56). James Priest (53:3) and Sarah Roe (60:13) crossed the line first in the Chertsey House Imperial 10. Aidan O’Hagan (58:48) and Debbie McConnell (69:28) added wins to their CVs at the Sperrin Harriers Parkanaur Forest 10.
In more obscure distances, Mohammed Husain (35:31) and Amber Lester (42:37) won the Stilton 7. Heather Tomlinson (36:26) and Harry Wakefield (29:03) won the Lostock 6.